"British food at its best"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
British food still gets a bad rap around the world. Can you believe it? Yes, while we’re tucking into black pudding Scotch eggs and crisp pork belly with apple sauce, neighbours near and far away are scoffing at the thought of us eating chicken boiled in a bag.
There’s nothing of the sort at Roast, which has a menu devoted to traditional British cooking. Instead there are salt beef croquettes (mind you, the salt beef is Irish), creamy in the middle, with chunks of salty meat, served with a rich pea puree and fresh dandelion. There is a dish of sliced chargrilled courgette, in a tangy, tomato-based dressing, sprinkled with goat’s curd.
The main courses include a lamb neck fillet which is as soft as marshmallow, pink in the middle and beautifully seasoned with herbs. It’s paired with a salad of spelt, tabbouleh-style with heaps of parsley and lemon, and a large dollop of cucumber yoghurt. A roasted fillet of sea trout is another herby dish, with flavoursome girolles and mashed potato. And there is nothing more classically British than roast potatoes with beef dripping, gloriously crispy on the outside.
And dessert? A rhubarb and apple crumble with vanilla custard has the perfect balance of sweet and sour, while a Green & Blacks chocolate tart is topped with mousse made from sea buckthorn berries, another contrasting match of rich and sharp flavours.
There is a vast wine list, with wines hailing from all over the world, even a fair few from good old Blighty, however we opt for a Beaujolais-Village 2010, Domaine du Vissoux, which for £38 is exceptional and a great complement to the lamb.
Occupying the upper level of the beautiful Floral Hall, with its high ceiling and large windows that overlook Borough Market and St. Paul’s, it’s hard to believe this building was once used for storage. Current chef Marcus Verberne arrived as recently as January, but his CV includes stints at J Sheekey and The Ivy, and he’s certainly raising the bar here. Next time someone starts badmouthing British food in your presence, point them in the direction of Roast.
Leila reviewed Roast on Fri 31 Aug 2012